700 wives

Last evening at church, the sermon was based on the book of Ecclesiastes.  The pastor talked about King Solomon and mentioned this particular king had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  He didn’t spend a lot of time expounding on this, as that wasn’t the crux of the sermon.  Yet, throughout my time sitting there listening, I couldn’t get over the fact that this [wise] king had personal access to 1000 women.  Should we not point out the wrongness in this?

I know, I know….we’re not supposed to point out what we deem as “wrong” with the bible, but how in the world can we take advice from a man who had 700 wives?  What did that even look like?  Did 700 weddings occur?  Were some of them double or triple ceremonies?  Were some of the wives sisters?  I’m guessing it was hard to pay a lot of attention as to what 700 women were doing on a daily basis, therefore many of them probably developed romantic relationships with other men around the palace.  Yes, I’m assuming, as I haven’t done thorough research.  Yet I have to wonder if he knew every one of these women by name?  Did they have any choice in marrying him?  Was one honored to become wife #367 of the king?  And did it give one low self esteem to be chosen as a concubine instead of a wife?  Or was this a sort of minor league, and they were able to slowly move up?  Did they all go on vacation together?  Did they have a cafeteria, where they all ate dinner every night?  I just can’t imagine how all this worked logistically.  Did they have roommates?  I picture a college dorm for girls.

It just seems so ludicrous.  My husband jokes about being alone for 3 weeks with my daughter and I.  It’s not easy being the only male.  How does one handle 700 women?  Plus another 300?

I realize it was a different time.  And a different part of the world.  It just seems so silly.  How can I take practical advice from a man who had to buy 1000 birthday gifts a year?  And that’s not counting gifts for the kids…….  He was fortunate Christmas hadn’t happened yet.

Did he know his in-laws?  Did he keep straight who liked what color?  It’s so nonsensical.  Obviously, God did not desire for Solomon to marry women who worshiped foreign gods.  That was an issue.  But the man wrote the book of Proverbs, for heaven’s sake.  Is that not a conflict?  

Just a few thoughts.  Hopefully not irreverent ones.  Seven hundred wives just seems a bit excessive.

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